The Airdrop

Courtesy/SOE

Courtesy/SOE

You’re walking through a field alone, just you and your backpack of gear. There are zombies. You haven’t found any weapons yet, but you hope that your unwavering spirit will drive you to continue to survive, and even thrive in this world gone wrong. A man wearing a black “H1Z1” t-shirt walks up to you.

“I see you’re pretty low on supplies and have no weapons!” says the man, “I can fix that for you. Just give me a few dollars and I can have an airdrop of supplies and weapons for you very shortly!”

“Just like that?” you ask, “I just spent four hours looking for this backpack with some spare clothes. I’ve already spent money to enter this world and it’s not even completed.”

“Yes, I understand your concern,” the man replies, “but many other people have taken me up on this offer and they’ve been doing great ever since they arrived!” The man stares at you blankly with a smile. You start to wonder if your survival skills alone are going to be enough.

“Okay, fine, here’s your money,” you tell the man, “but just so you know, I’m not really thrilled about this. I was hoping everyone would have to find things themselves.”

“Yes, I understand your concern,” the man says with a smile, “Thank you for your purchase! Your airdrop will be here momentarily!”

A plane flies overhead as the man starts to walk away. The plane seems to be going past you. A crate with a parachute lands on top of a three-story building in the distance. You see a couple of people in that direction, moving towards your crate of goodies.

“Hey…HEY!” You stop the man as he turns around to face you, “Why did you have them drop my stuff over there? I paid for that! Why didn’t they just drop it right here? Those people are going to get my crate! That’s my crate!”

The man looks at you empathetically. “Yes, I understand your concern. But I cannot simply give people supplies in exchange for money. That would be too easy, don’t you agree? This way, everyone here has an equal chance to find the things they need. We wouldn’t want you gaining an unfair advantage on everyone else. I hope you find this agreeable.”

The man continues to walk away as you stand there, jaw dropped. The couple waves to you from the top of the building. They’ve been digging through your new box of fun things. Oh, it looks like one of them found a sniper rifle. He’s pointing it at you, while the other person eats your snacks. The sniper shoots you right in the head, thanking you for the gear.

This is what life is like in the open world zombie survival game, H1Z1. It’s still in the beta, but players can pay to get access. The game developer, Sony Online Entertainment (which will be Daybreak Game Company), was originally adamant about not allowing players to pay for weapons and ammo. Upon release, SOE changed course to allow paid airdrops for players. There has been quite a backlash in the gaming community. SOE responded by letting customers have limited refunds for the game.

So technically, you’re not buying weapons and ammo for yourself. Anyone can get the crate you bought. You’re really buying the hijinks that may occur with everyone in the area scrambling to make a move on it. Luckily, this is a zombie survival game. You have your choice of those! You can play DayZ, DeadRising, Left4Dead, State of Decay or The Walking Dead games from TellTale games. There are so many other options! For now, maybe let H1Z1 become a complete game before you spend money on it.

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